By Richard Cowley, Date: 1/3/13
After 12 months of hard work the Russian Rugby League have been granted full membership status by the Rugby League European Federation.
RLEF chairman Maurice Watkins comments on the elevation to full membership status “I have great pleasure in confirming the Association of Rugby League Club’s elevation to Full Member status. On behalf of the RLEF Board I would like thank the Association of Rugby League Club’s for your application and look forward to working with the organization to facilitate further growth in Russia and across the RLEF’s territories collectively.
We will endeavour to work with Association of Rugby League Club’s to meet our objectives of ever-increasing participation numbers and strengthening our member organisations.”
This elevation is a big win for Russian Rugby League. The Russian’s have battled away over the last few years with little funding and support from the the Russian Ministry of Sport.
In early 2010 the Russian Ministry of Sportâ€™s submitted order 21 which expelled rugby league from the state register of sports in Russia. The reason? They believe rugby league doesn’t exist.
Hopefully this elevation in status will go someway to convincing the Russian Ministry of Sport that not only does rugby league exist but to some it is the greatest game of all.